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No Gun Ri Probers To Visit U.S.

May 1, 2000

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ A group of five South Korean experts left Monday for Washington on a mission to coordinate the two countries’ investigations into an alleged mass killing of civilians by U.S. soldiers during the Korean War.

During their six-day visit, the South Korean experts, led by ret. Gen. Paik Sun-yup, will meet U.S. Defense Department officials and their American counterparts, including former ambassador to Seoul Donald Gregg and former congressman Paul McCloskey.

They will be assisted in the talks by three South Korean Defense Ministry officials handling the issue.

The South Koreans said before leaving Seoul that they had requested the U.S. government arrange interviews with American veterans who said they were involved in the mass killing.

But the U.S. government responded negatively to the request, citing legal restrictions, they said.

Quoting dozens of American veterans and South Korean survivors, The Associated Press reported in September that retreating U.S. troops machine-gunned hundreds of unarmed civilians cowering in a tunnel at No Gun Ri in central South Korea in the early weeks of the Korean conflict.

South Korean survivors claim that about 400 people were killed at the tunnel and a preceding air raid by American jets.

The claim was ignored under past South Korean military governments. After the AP report, the two governments decided to open investigations separately.

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